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Pearl Jam Heads to the Studio Next Month

Jeff Ament says the group has 25 songs mapped out for follow-up to 2009's Backspacer.

Pearl Jam are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band this year with deluxe reissues of 1993’s Vs. and 1994’s Vitalogy, plus an outdoor concert festival and the release of a Cameron Crowe-directed documentary about their evolution. But the Seattle rockers won’t spend the entire year looking back nostalgically: The group will hit the studio in April to begin work on a new album, according to Billboard, with Eddie Vedder and bassist Jeff Ament also taking time out to finish up solo records.

So far, Pearl Jam have more than two dozen songs sketched out, which they will cut down to roughly a dozen for the record. “We did a whole bunch of demos and everybody’s got a disc of 25 [songs] right now,” bassist Jeff Ament said. “April will be the time where we get together and learn to play all these demos and figure out which 12-15 of them float to the top. Hopefully we can get something done this year.”

Eddie Vedder is also working on a solo album titled Uke Songs, a collection of ukelele-based ballads. Vedder announced the news while on his current solo tour of Australia, and a handful of radio stations have already begun playing the string-soaked track “Longing to Belong.” (Check it out here.) Ament, meanwhile, tells Billboard that he has just wrapped up recording his own solo record — after cutting a new disc with his side-project Tres Mts. — but the bassist says that album most likely won’t come out until next year.

In terms of Pearl Jam’s blowout festival this summer, Ament says the group will announce details about dates, line-up, and location in early April. “We’ve reached out to a few [other bands],” he said. “It’s mostly people that we’re friends with. I don’t think that anybody’s fully signed on yet. We’re not 100% where we’re going to have it yet, so it’s a little bit tricky… If it’s Labor Day, that’s three or four months [away]; that should be plenty of time for people to make reservations.”